Thursday, April 22, 2010

Review: The Hunger Games

Title: The Hunger Games
Author: Suzanne Collins
Publisher: Scholastic Press
ISBN: 978 0 4390 2348 1
Category: science fiction, fantasy
Rating: YA

At last a heroine I can love. Katniss Everdeen is no Mary Sue, and thank god. I have had about enough of those watery, insipid female leads to last a life time. This girl is a survivor. You get a good picture of her character, her motivations, her thinking. She is a normal girl put in extraordinary circumstances trying the best she can to survive both for herself and her family.

This is one of those 'read in a day' books because you can't abandon the story for medial things like cooking meals and basic hygiene (Spell check thought my misspelling of this so bad it suggested I meant aborigine. MAKES NO SENSE) practices. You have to know what happens next, how the mini arc's play out, if they survive or if they perish.

There are many things about this book that will appeal to many types of readers I think. I like well developed characters and interactions but not at the expense of plot, this book balances both. There's the surface appeal of the Team Gale vs Team Peeta if you are character driven and enjoy the developing potential of a love triangle. Love vs Survival. Then there is the deeper appeal of the plot and the politics and injustices of war and theoretical post apocalyptic civilization.

Taking place in a much altered and devastated future USA now called Panem a yearly televised games show takes place called The Hunger Games. Every district has a lottery, where one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen are chosen to participate as tributes from their respective districts. The book follows Katniss and her partner Peeta as they fight to the death against 22 others in a hostile and manufactured arena until there is only one survivor.

I mean it's a winning formula, the reality show Survivor shows us this. What are they up to now, their 2oth season or something? People want to see other people struggle. Weed out the weak, flush out the strong. Only the cleverest and the fittest survive.

Take that immeasurable successful game show and marry it with real life war, murder, hunting, actual lord of the flies survival in a hostile terrain, all against the backdrop of blossoming teen romances, and you have The Hunger Games.

4 out of 5


Chaucey said...

Followed your link from another blog.
Andrea, you asked what I'm reading now. The most recent YA books I've read were the midnighters series by Scott Westerfeld. The story is about a group of teenagers who are awake for an extra hour each night - along with a heap of creepy crawly monsters. They have some cool super-powers. The monsters weren't particularly scary but there was a good ethical dilema twist thrown in to the 2nd book.

It was written by the same author who wrote the Uglies series, which I've read 3 out of 4 books.

I'm on the hunt for some new YA stuff to read now.


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